Sep 022017
 
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Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (November 27, 2016)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK GIANTS REDUCE ROSTER TO 53; TRADE FOR CORNERBACK…
On Saturday, in order to meet the NFL’s 53-man roster limit, the New York Giants made 29 roster moves.

Players who were placed on Injured Reserve included:

  • LB Mark Herzlich (burner)
  • DT Josh Banks (shoulder – torn labrum requiring surgery)

Players who were cut included:

  • QB Josh Johnson
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • RB Khalid Abdullah
  • FB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Travis Rudolph
  • WR Jerome Lane
  • WR Canaan Severin
  • WR Marquis Bundy
  • WR Ed Eagan
  • TE Will Tye
  • OT Adam Bisnowaty
  • OT Jarron Jones
  • OG/OC Jon Halapio
  • OG Matt Rotheram
  • DE Devin Taylor
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • DT Bobby Richardson
  • LB Deontae Skinner
  • LB Stansly Maponga
  • LB Curtis Grant
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB DaShaun Amos
  • CB Nigel Tribune
  • S Ryan Murphy
  • S Trey Robinson
  • PK Mike Nugent

The Giants also sent a conditional draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for cornerback Ross Cockrell. The 6’0”, 191-pound Cockrell was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 4th round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Bills cut Cockrell in August 2015 and he then signed with the Steelers. In two seasons with the Steelers, Cockrell played in 31 regular-season games with 23 starts. He started all 16 games in 2016 and finished the year with 62 tackles and 14 pass defenses. He had two interceptions with the Steelers in 2015. Cockrell struggled with the Steelers this preseason.

“Today was a challenging day. This week was a challenging week,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “You have to hand it to the players. They really worked hard in camp. And then Thursday night really made it tough on us. It’s a tough day every time you go through it. The second year is probably harder than it was last year, considering the relationships you build with the men on the team.”

Regarding the competition between quarterbacks Geno Smith and Josh Johnson for the primary back-up job behind Eli Manning, McAdoo said,  “It was a close call. Both men earned an opportunity and can play in this league. We wish Josh the best and thanked him for everything he’s done for us.”

Aldrick Rosas beat out veteran Mike Nugent for the team’s place kicker. “We know Aldrick has a big leg, and we really liked the way he responded throughout training camp and in the preseason games,” McAdoo said. “Mike Nugent was a guy that came in and was a great teammate and was a pro. He pushed Aldrick, which made him better, and it made Aldrick better. I think at the end of the day you go with the players who’s been here (since January) and has the biggest upside.”

Five of the team’s six 2017 draft choices made the 53-man roster. Bisnowaty was waived despite being drafted in the 6th round. In addition, three rookie free agents are on the team: FB Shane Smith, OT Chad Wheeler, and LB Calvin Munson.

“Munson is a guy we were excited about from a special teams perspective,” McAdoo said. “He’s also a guy that can add depth at linebacker. We had a lot of guys nicked at the linebacker position, so he got to play a lot of football for us, which is good for him. We need to get him going on the special teams as well. It’s a credit to Munson, he’s done a nice job jumping in with both feet and really taking advantage of his meeting time and his field time.

“Wheeler probably should have been drafted in the middle rounds somewhere. He slid on the board and we were fortunate enough to get him as a free agent. He’s a talented player who has a little bit of a mean streak in him, which we like. Fundamentally, he’s coming along, and we feel he has a bright future for us.

“Shane Smith – we wanted to take the best 53 and not be concerned about which position they play. It just happens to be he’s a fullback and he really fits in well with the tight end group as far as his skill set. He can do a variety of things for us on special teams and on offense. It adds another piece to your board. You can move him around. He has some flexibility.”

Last year, in his second season, Will Tye was promoted to the starting tight end spot at midseason after the bye week. He played in all 16 regular-season games, with 10 starts, and finished the year with 48 catches for 395 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and just one touchdown. Tye was originally signed as a rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants. In 2015, he played in 13 games with seven starts, and finished the season with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns. Tye was voted to the Pro Football Writers NFL All-Rookie Team.

“Will is a guy that played a lot of football for us and played well,” McAdoo said. “That was a tough decision to make, but we feel we chose the best four (tight ends) for our football team moving forward. We’re excited to get going with those guys.”

Herzlich was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2011 NFL Draft. He has started 17 regular-season games in his six seasons with the Giants, eight of which were in 2014. Last year, Herzlich played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a concussion. He finished with seven tackles on defense.

“We felt it was best to put Mark on IR this year and give him an opportunity to get healthy,” McAdoo said. “He’ll still be involved with the team, whether it’s in the locker room, or in the meeting rooms. Mark will still be around to help the guys.”

Veteran DE Devin Taylor, who the Giants signed in the offseason, was also cut. “We have a lot of talented players in that defensive line room, a lot of depth in the room,” said McAdoo. “Devin Taylor can play in the league – he’s played in this league and he’s started in this league. He’ll probably go somewhere else and do the same thing. We’re confident with the group of men we have in the room.”

ARTICLES…

Aug 072017
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (July 28, 2017)

Eli Manning – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 7, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their ninth summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

INJURY REPORT…
Running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (knee) remain on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Defensive tackle Robert Thomas (unknown), linebacker Keenan Robinson (concussion protocol), and linebacker Mark Herzlich (unknown) did not practice.

Wide receivers Sterling Shepard (ankle) and Tavarres King (ankle) practiced on a limited basis.

“(Shepard) was running around, I didn’t see any noticeable limp or anything like that,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “He was moving around good, some change in direction, looked fine.”

Wide receiver Kevin Snead (unknown) and offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (unknown) left practice early.

SY’56 PRACTICE REPORT…
Indoor practice today not open to the public. I liked being in there, simply to switch things up a little and it kept everyone on one field. So for the most part, we got to see everyone, as no one was a field away.

Offense Notes:

  • WR Sterling Shepard was out there for the beginning of practice, he was moving aggressively. I think it’s safe to say he is ready to rock within a week.
  • QB Geno Smith is on a little run. He is making some really nice throws on all levels and it appears his timing with receivers in addition to understanding the scheme is coming along. Geno is more gifted than Johnson and if he continues to improve at this rate, he has a very good shot at winning the backup job.
  • Good to see QB Davis Webb out there after practice again. You can tell this kid is a worker.
  • The QB’s were airing it out a little more today than what we’ve seen, as it looked like some deep passing was a focus. This was equally beneficial for WRs, DBs, and QBs. Manning threw a deep ball (40+ yards) to WR Brandon Marshall up the right sideline. I had a good vantage point and right after the ball reached it’s apex, I immediately assumed 5-6 yard overthrow. Then Marshall accelerated and showed off his reach, tipping the ball to himself a couple times and eventually coming down with it. Very impressive pitch-and-catch and it looks like 10-to-15 chemistry is coming along. They hooked up a few times today in tight windows.
  • Still unsure where WR Roger Lewis is on this depth chart. He worked as the team’s #3 guy with Taverres King and Sterling Shepard out of action in team drills. He is an impressive athlete but doesn’t quite seem to have the body control and consistent hands. He dropped a deep pass today and then didn’t locate another one but responded with a deep TD catch a few plays later.
  • WR Darius Powe may have an inside track at winning the final WR spot. He is big and physical and I think this team needs another one of those guys if Marshall were to ever go down. He had a couple of really nice catches today including one where he burned Janoris Jenkins. WR Travis Rudolph, we’ve discussed a few times, does so many things well but I think it is a legit concern if he can separate and/or catch passes in traffic at his size/speed combo.
  • I got to watch a lot of OT Adam Bisnowaty vs. DE Avery Moss today, the two rookies. Bisnowaty won most, if not all, of the one-on-one fights. He anchored well, maintained good position and accuracy with hands, and adjusted to the double moves. Moss was winning the leverage battle but didn’t seem to have the power to get a consistent push.
  • OC Brett Jones had an impressive day. I have to think he is the primary OC backup and a definite for the 53-man roster. One thing that stands out with him, he does NOT get pushed back when he anchors those feet in.
  • We may need to get used to TE Evan Engram making plays on a daily basis now. His speed jumps out at me every time he goes after the ball and makes a move north after the catch. He burned S Landon Collins a couple times. Collins also had a hard time sticking with TE Rhett Ellison on an out cut. Ellison is a better short area athlete than I thought.
  • OL Michael Bowie is likely on the outside looking in at this point, but he has some extra pop about him today. He appears to have overwhelming power when he has things lined up correctly.
  • A practice squad candidate WR has had 2-3 really good days in a row. UDFA Jerome Lane from Akron 6’3/225 and has been making some tough catches in traffic. Very strong presence when he attacks the ball. He is #6 if you guys watch Friday night.

Defense Notes:

  • DT Robert Thomas didn’t practice today which meant more looks for Jay Bromley. I’m not sure we have seen enough out of him to warrant excitement, but he still shows flashes. He is a big, big dude with some solid straight line burst. He just needs to show more consistent pad level.
  • CB Donte Deayon is a fun kid to watch and I think everyone is rooting for him, including his teammates. At his size, it’s unlikely he will make the team but he continues to make plays. I’ve been wanting to see him matchup against Odell Beckham because they are both elite movers. Deayon got his shot once today and stuck with him on an in-cut. The negative, however, is that he gets tossed around by receivers when they block. WR Sterling Shepard and WR Dwayne Harris just owned him on WR blocking driils. He did intercept QB Josh Johnson during team drills though. He is making his case.
  • B.J. Goodson got beat in coverage a couple times today. He was close though. We know it won’t be his strength as a LB, but this team needs to make sure they don’t get beat up the middle yet again this year.
  • I am having a hard time figuring out how this team will figure out the LB depth chart behind the top 5. Deontae Skinner and Curtis Grant are excellent straight-line athletes. Skinner made a couple plays in coverage today – that could be an avenue for him to make his impact.
  • Safety Eric Pinkins, whom we talked to after practice, is a physical gem. Tall, long, strong, and fast. He is high-hipped and struggles to make quick breaks and change direction laterally, but I think this kid has to make the team. He may be one of the more versatile defenders on the team. Experience at S, LB, and CB in addition to a defensive weapon on special teams. He is pumped to start his endeavor to make the roster Friday night. Look for him.
  • CB Valentino Blake is the team’s #5 CB I think, as of now. We will see what happens in the games but he has been playing better each day. He has the game experience that some others do not and there is a physical style about him. This defense wants to be nasty and that fits in to the way Blake approaches things. If I had to decide Blake or Deayon right now, I think NYG would lean towards Blake.
  • CB Eli Apple may have had his best day. He stuck with Brandon Marshall for the most part in his limited opportunities. He is showing the blend of size and speed you want, but he also did a nice job of sniffing out routes and throws ahead of time. That is huge for him.
  • DT Corbin Bryant is a really impressive-looking guy. He has a short area burst and violence about him that can be a weapon. Does he have the ability to eat up double teams? Can he be a pass rusher here? Not sure but he deserves a look in these games coming up.

Three Standouts:

  • QB Eli Manning: I think this was Eli’s “rust is off” day. He threw a bunch of really pretty looking balls downfield. He also stepped up in the pocket and fit some passes into really tight windows. He is making the effort to build up that chemistry with Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, two new weapons that offer him things he didn’t have last year. That is one of the more important parts to this preseason process.
  • TE Will Tye: Another day, another TE looks to be stepping up and making his case. Part of me thinks the Rhett Ellison signing is the kick that will put Tye on the street at the end of preseason. They are similar styled players and Ellison isn’t going anywhere. Tye made a couple of really tough catches over the middle on the move. Outstretched arms with defenders bearing down. As I said last week, he looks quicker than a year ago.
  • CB Nigel Tribune: A guy I haven’t mentioned at all in these reports yet. He is a body-control corner that went undrafted out of Iowa State. He showed a physical side last week when he beat up WR Kevin Snead at the point of attack multiple times, and today he showed great balance and ball skills when covering WR Travis Rudolph. He made a great play on the ball on 4th-and-goal on a pass from Geno Smith to Rudolph. That fifth CB spot is up for grabs and if they want a quicker slot-type corner, Tribune is in the mix as much as anyone.

Sy’56 and Gidiefor discuss today’s practice and interview safety Eric Pinkins.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • In 1-on-1 drills, wide receiver Brandon Marshall beat cornerback Eli Apple deep and scored a touchdown with an acrobatic catch that he tipped to himself. Wide receiver Travis Rudolph then badly beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins deep for a touchdown. Cornerback Donte Deayon had good, tight coverage on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • In 7-on-7 drills, tight end Rhett Ellison made a couple of nice catches. But then quarterback Josh Johnson threw and interception to cornerback Donte Deayon.
  • Quarterback Josh Johnson hit wide receiver Dwayne Harris for a long touchdown. Then he threw a ball up for tight end Matt LaCosse, who made a leaping catch down the right side.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple deflected a slant pass intended for wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
  • Quarterback Geno Smith hit wide receiver Darius Powe for a long touchdown over cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Powe then made a finger-tip grab on a Smith pass, beating cornerback Michael Hunter.
  • Cornerback Valentino Blake broke up a quarterback Geno Smith pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis.
  • D.J. Fluker received some reps at left guard and right tackle with the third-team offensive line.
  • Tight end Evan Engram made a nice grab on pass over the middle from quarterback Eli Manning during the 2-minute drill.
  • Cornerback Donte Deayon broke up a flat pass from quarterback Geno Smith intended for wide receiver Travis Rudolph. Safety Eric Pinkins then broke up a Smith pass intended for tight end Matt LaCosse.
  • Avery Moss got a good pass rush from left defensive end during the 2-minute drill.
  • Cornerback Nigel Tribune made a diving pass defense of a quarterback Geno Smith rollout pass to wide receiver Travis Rudolph.
  • Overall, the Giants’ 1st-, 2nd, and 3rd-team defenses kept the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-team offenses out of the end zone during 2-minute drills.
  • Place kicker Aldrick Rosas was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including from 31, 36, 41, and 50 yards out.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The tenth training camp practice will be held on Tuesday, starting at 10:55AM. The training camp schedule is available at Giants.com.

Jul 172017
 
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B.J. Goodson, New York Giants (August 20, 2016)

B.J. Goodson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With New York Giants training camp beginning in late July, BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) breaks down each of the team’s positional groups until the players report at Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Linebackers

2016 YEAR IN REVIEW: Ever since the New York Giants moved to the 4-3 defense in 1994, the team has largely de-emphasized the acquisition of linebackers in terms of premium resources. The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round was 1984 (Carl Banks). The last three linebackers drafted in the 2nd round were Clint Sintim (2009), Kanavis McGhee (1991), and Pepper Johnson (1986). From time to time, the Giants have spent big money on linebackers in free agency, including Michael Barrow (2000), Antonio Pierce (2005), and Michael Boley (2009). Not surprisingly, the overall play of the position has declined since its golden era of the 1980s, with the last linebackers to make the Pro Bowl being Pierce (2006) and Jessie Armstead (2001). Now annually, the team’s talent level at the position is usually considered sub-par and the defensive weak spot.

In 2016, of the defense’s three levels, the linebacking corps once again took a backseat to the defensive line and secondary. But while the linebackers were not a team strength, they did play at a more respectable level than their recent predecessors. This is a polite way of saying, “Well, at least the linebackers didn’t suck!”

The surprising headliner was Jonathan Casillas, who arguably had the best season of his career. Keenan Robinson stayed healthy and added more speed to the position. And Devon Kennard finally stayed healthy for a full 16 games. Overall, there weren’t many big plays from this group, but they did a respectable job on a defensive unit that improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage allowed and 2nd in terms of points allowed.

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants chose not to re-sign Kelvin Sheppard, who started 11 regular-season games at middle linebacker for the team in 2016. The Giants re-signed unrestricted free agents Keenan Robinson and Mark Herzlich to 1-year deals. The team also signed journeyman street free agent Curtis Grant and rookie free agent Calvin Munson.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Once again, the Giants made no major player acquisitions at linebacker. The #1 story line here is tracking how well second-year player B.J. Goodson can take over at middle linebacker for Sheppard. Goodson has been praised by coaches and players for his work during the spring, but he has to demonstrate that he can not only stuff the run, but cover tight ends and running backs. The middle linebacker is usually a defensive leader on most teams and it will be a big jump for Goodson, who only played a handful of defensive snaps in 2016.

It assumed by many that Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard will remain the other top linebackers on the team. Can Casillas continue his career renaissance or was 2016 his high point? Can the injury-prone Robinson string together two healthy years in a row? One gets the sense that Kennard still hasn’t reached his true potential, but he must also stay healthy.

ON THE BUBBLE: Mark Herzlich, J.T. Thomas, Deontae Skinner, Curtis Grant, Stansly Maponga, and Calvin Munson.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Bill McGovern on B.J. Goodson: “I think he, like everybody has kind of has noticed, he just seemed a little bit more comfortable being in the system another year being around it. You see him more comfortable gaining more confidence as he continues to get more and more reps in practice… He has a really good skill set. He looks like he will be good in the run, but again, without pads on right now, we’re moving around but it’s not anything that is going to be real definitive right now, but he is a guy that looks like he can tackle, we’ve seen on tape that he can tackle. He moves well. It looks like he is moving better in the pass but again you always move better once you always have a better understanding of how you fit in this scheme… the mike linebacker position is one that has got to control our defense, make some calls, make some checks, get us lined up, and let us play.”

McGovern on Keenan Robinson: “I think Keenan, in particular in our sub-package really was a positive for us in terms of coverage. He has length, he has size, and he has athleticism so he was a real positive. Hopefully, again we will continue to expand his role in that.”

McGovern on Devon Kennard: “I think (last year) it was kind of learning, again, more about DK and DK kept taking on more and more responsibility. Finding his skill set improved a little bit in that he has value rushing the passer and that he has value on first down, second down, and third down. It was one of those situations as we developed through the year we realized that he had more and more value and he has continued to work on it through the offseason and we are excited about where he is headed now.”

PREDICTIONS: This group is lucky to be sandwiched between the talent on the defensive line and defensive backs. As of July 2017, clearly there are still no headliners at this position for the Giants. That could change if Goodson or Kennard have breakout years. The key with Goodson will probably be his coverage ability. Can he become a three-down linebacker? I keep waiting for Kennard to have that breakout game. He has the smarts and physical tools. It just hasn’t happened for him yet. Casillas and Robinson had solid seasons, but they have to prove they can do that again.

FINAL DEPTH CHART: Barring injury, the obvious ones are B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, and Devon Kennard. After that, it gets murky. The Giants could keep as few as six linebackers. It is doubtful they will keep eight. Herzlich keeps seeing his defensive snaps reduced, but is clearly still valued as a core special teams player. The wild card is J.T. Thomas, who is still recovering from a serious knee injury. The fact that he has not been cut seems to indicate the Giants still have plans for him or see him as insurance. I’ll say the Giants keep seven linebackers, including special teams aces Herzlich, Thomas, and Deontae Skinner. I would not be shocked to see the Giants replace one of these three after the final roster cuts.

Feb 132017
 
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Damon Harrison, New York Giants (January 1, 2017)

Damon Harrison – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants defensive line underwent a major overhaul in 2016, and the changes were perhaps THE major reason why the team’s defense improved from dead last in the NFL to 10th in terms of yardage and 2nd in terms of points allowed. The Giants went from 24th in run defense in 2015 (121.4 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry) to 3rd in 2016 (88.6 yards per game, 3.6 yards per carry).

The key to sparking the dramatic turnaround were the high-priced, high-profile free agent additions of defensive end Olivier Vernon (5-years, $85 million) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (5-years, $46 million). These two were a major upgrade over defensive ends Robert Ayers/George Selvie and defensive tackles Markus Kuhn/Cullen Jenkins. Harrison is arguably the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the game and earned first-team All-Pro honors after making the switch from a 3-4 nose tackle with the New York Jets to a 4-3 defensive tackle. Vernon was slowed by a serious hand/wrist injury but played virtually every snap and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) rebounded nicely from a 2015 offseason catastrophic fireworks accident that left him permanently maimed. After a slow start on the pass-rushing front, the line was rounding into peak form until a groin tear/sports hernia injury sidelined JPP for the final four regular-season games and post-season contest. Unfortunately, the dropoff was noticeable. As a unit, the line finished with 24.5 sacks in the regular season (up from 16 in 2015).

THE STARTERS

In his first season with the Giants, Olivier Vernon was slowed early by a serious left hand/wrist injury but he ended up starting every game and playing 94 percent of all defensive snaps. Vernon finished with 63 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He was also named second-team All-Pro. Vernon was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dolphins. The Giants signed him as a free agent in March 2016. Vernon lacks classic size, but he is a very strong, athletic end with long arms and a non-stop motor. He is one of the better two-way ends in football and is equally disruptive against the run and the pass. Vernon can get heat on the quarterback from both the end and tackle positions, and gets a lot of hits on the quarterback.

Jason Pierre-Paul started 12 games in 2016, but missed the remainder of the season with groin and sports hernia injuries that required surgery. He finished the year with 53 tackles, seven sacks, eight pass defenses, and three forced fumbles. Pierre-Paul was drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Giants. His best season came in 2011 when he accrued 86 tackles and 16.5 sacks. After not missing a game in his first three years with the Giants, Pierre-Paul has not completed a full season in three of the last four years, including 2013 (herniated disc and shoulder injuries) and 2015 (fireworks accident that permanently maimed his right hand). Pierre-Paul has an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism. When healthy and focused, Pierre-Paul can be an explosive, disruptive difference-maker against both the run and the pass. His tremendous wingspan helps him to bat passes down at the line of scrimmage (42 career pass defenses and 2 interceptions). As a pass rusher, he can beat blockers with both power and movement skills. Pierre-Paul is a very good run defender, both at the point-of-attack as well as in backside pursuit.

In his first season with the Giants, Damon Harrison had a superb year, starting every game and finishing the regular season with career highs in tackles (86) and sacks (2.5). Harrison was named first-team All-Pro. Harrison was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Jets after the 2012 NFL Draft. The Giants signed him as an unrestricted free agent in March 2016. Harrison is a strong, mammoth player with surprising athleticism for someone so large. He is a rock against the run, able to hold the point-of-attack against the double-team block. He may be the NFL’s best inside run defender. Though Harrison is a better run defender than pass rusher, he will flash at times getting after the quarterback.

Johnathan Hankins started every game and finished the 2016 regular season with 43 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Hankins was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Giants. Hankins has excellent size, strength, and overall athleticism. He is a stout run defender who occasionally flashes on the pass rush.

THE RESERVES

The Giants signed Romeo Okwara as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. Not only did he make the team, but he was a surprisingly-strong contributor as a rookie. Okwara played in every game with four regular-season starts (36 percent of defensive snaps), and finished the year with 25 tackles, one sack, and two pass defenses. Okwara looks the part with excellent size and arm length. He’s a hard worker with a fine motor. While Okwara is a good athlete, he lacks dynamic quickness to excel as outside pass rusher. He flashes more when rushing from the defensive tackle position. Okwara is a solid run defender, but he can still improve his consistency in this area.

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Giants, Owamagbe Odighizuwa’s has not developed as hoped or expected. Hamstring and foot injuries caused him to miss 12 games of his rookie season. He missed two regular-season games in 2016 with a knee injury and the playoff game with a hamstring injury. In his 18 regular-season games, Odighizuwa has been credited with just six tackles and one pass defense. Odighizuwa looks the part. He is a strong, well-built, and athletic defensive end with long arms and huge hands. Odighizuwa has the ability to play defensive tackle in pass rushing situations. He is a hard worker who simply has not been able to put it together yet.

Kerry Wynn saw his playing time decrease in 2016 (11 percent of defensive snaps). He played in 14 regular-season games with no starts and finished the year with 12 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Wynn was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Giants after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played in 34 regular-season games, with seven starts, for the Giants in his three years with the team. Wynn has a nice combination of size, strength, and overall athletic ability. Wynn is a better run defender than pass rusher as he lacks dynamic quickness on the outside pass rush. He is able to play defensive tackle in pass-rush situations.

The primary reserve at defensive tackle, Jay Bromley played in 15 regular-season games with no starts. He received 22 percent of defensive snaps and finished the season with 14 tackles and one sack. Bromley was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Giants. He has played in 39 regular-season games with just four starts. Bromley combines decent size, strength, and overall athletic ability. He has improved his play against the run since coming to the Giants but he has not developed into the inside pass rusher hoped for when he was drafted.

The Giants claimed Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers in September 2016. He played in eight regular-season games with no starts (6 percent of defensive snaps) and finished the year with five tackles and one sack. Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

PRACTICE SQUAD

Stansly Maponga was signed to the Practice Squad in September 2016. Maponga was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. From 2013-2014, he played in 24 regular-season games with no starts, accruing eight tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries. The Falcons waived Maponga before the start of the 2015 season. The Giants signed Maponga off of the Practice Squad of the Falcons in December 2015, and he ended up playing in two games for New York. Maponga is an athletic lineman who flashes on occasion as a pass rusher.

Jordan Williams was signed to the Practice Squad in December 2016. Williams was originally signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2015 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Jets (2015) and Miami Dolphins (2015-2016). He has good size.

Jan 122017
 
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Michael Bowie, Cleveland Browns (August 13, 2015)

Michael Bowie – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN 12 PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
The New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:

  • QB Keith Wenning
  • RB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Darius Powe
  • WR Kevin Norwood
  • OT Michael Bowie
  • OT Jon Halapio
  • OG Adam Gettis
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • S Ryan Murphy

All except Bowie were either on the team’s Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured Reserve (Deayon) at the end of the season.

Bowie was originally drafted in the Seattle Seahawks in the 7th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played in nine games with eight starts as a rookie. Bowie was waived in August 2014 and claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Bowie had shoulder issues in Cleveland and did not play in a regular-season game. The Browns placed him on the reserve/retired list in August 2016 and cut him in September. Bowie is a versatile lineman who has played both tackle and guard. He has very good size.

BBI WEBSITE UPDATES…
We have updated the following sections of the website:

ARTICLES…

Jan 092017
 
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Landon Collins and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (January 8, 2017)

Landon Collins and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE…
The transcript of Jerry Reese’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

GIANTS SIGNING PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
According to NJ.com, the New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:

  • QB Keith Wenning
  • RB Jacob Huesman
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OT Jon Halapio
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DE Jordan Williams
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • S Ryan Murphy

These nine players were either on the team’s Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured Reserve (Deayon) at the end of the season.

NOTES…
The Giants did not score at least 20 points in any of their last six games (including five in the regular season), their longest such streak since September 22-October 26, 1980. They did not reach the 30-point mark in any of their 17 games.

The Giants are 0-18 in postseason games in which they allow more than 21 points.

QB Eli Manning played in his 12th career postseason game, the second-highest total in Giants history. LB Lawrence Taylor played in 15 playoff games.

ARTICLES…

Sep 042016
 
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Geremy Davis, New York Giants (September 13, 2015)

Geremy Davis – © USA TODAY Sports Images

NEW YORK GIANTS CLAIM DT ROBERT THOMAS…
The New York Giants claimed defensive tackle Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. To make room for Thomas, the team waived defensive tackle Montori Hughes.

The 6’3”, 325-pound Thomas was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Redskins after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Redskins (2014-15), Seahawks (2015), Patriots (2015), Dolphins (2015), and Panthers (2016). To date, Thomas has only played in one regular season game. Thomas is a big, strong tackle who plays hard.

The Giants signed Hughes to the 53-man roster from the Practice Squad in November 2015. He ended up playing in seven games as a reserve, and finished the season with six tackles. Hughes was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In his two seasons with the Colts, Hughes played in 16 games with one start. The Colts waived him in September 2015 and the Giants then signed him to their Practice Squad.

NEW YORK GIANTS PRACTICE SQUAD SIGNINGS…
The Giants have signed the following ten players to their 10-man Practice Squad:

  • QB Logan Thomas
  • WR Geremy Davis
  • WR Darius Powe
  • OL Adam Gettis
  • OL Shane McDermott
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • LB Ishaq Williams
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • S Andrew Adams

All ten of these players were with the Giants this summer in training camp and the preseason. They were all waived on Saturday except for McDermott who was waived on Tuesday.

Sep 032016
 
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Will Johnson, New York Giants (June 6, 2016)

Will Johnson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS CUT ROSTER TO 53 PLAYERS…
The New York Giants made 22 roster moves on Saturday in order reduce the roster to 53 players as required by the NFL.

The Giants waived or terminated the contracts of the following players:

  • QB Logan Thomas
  • RB Andre Williams
  • WR Geremy Davis
  • WR Darius Powe
  • WR Anthony Dablé
  • OL Adam Gettis
  • OL Dillon Farrell
  • OL Ryan Seymour
  • DE Stansly Maponga
  • DT Jermelle Cudjo
  • DT Louis Nix
  • LB Brad Bars
  • LB Ishaq Williams
  • CB Donte Deayon
  • CB Michael Hunter
  • CB Leon McFadden
  • S Justin Currie
  • S Andrew Adams

The Giants placed the following player on Injured Reserve:

  • FB/TE Will Johnson (burner)

The Giants waived/injured the following players:

  • OL Emmett Clearly (finger)
  • OL Jake Rodgers (ankle)

As expected, place kicker Josh Brown was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Suspended list for a 2015 domestic violence incident. He will be eligible to return to the team on September 12th, a day after the first regular-season game.

“Football is a people business,” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Building relationships, developing chemistry and improving in our game. When you approach it that way, it makes this time of year even harder because you develop those relationships with these players, and you’re all working together toward the same goal. That’s the way it goes in this business. You can’t take everybody with you, especially at the beginning. But they’re fine young men, they handled themselves well, and we wish them the best moving forward.

“It was a challenge. We let a lot of good players go, some who will be playing for other teams. And at some point you may see some of them back here. It was tough. It wasn’t just one position. You wanted to make sure you did what was best and took the best 53 and rounded out the roster the best way you can. But there were some good players we had to let go.

“I’m very comfortable with two quarterbacks on the roster. Eli (Manning) has played a lot of football. Ryan (Nassib) is a guy who had some ups and downs of late, but he’s a guy we have confidence in. He can put the players around him in a position to be successful and take advantage of it.” 

The most surprising cut was running back Andre Williams. “Andre is a guy that played some good football for us,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We’re going to miss him. It was another one of those really tough (roster) decisions to make. We feel that with Rashad (Jennings), Shane (Vereen), Orleans (Darkwa), Paul Perkins, and Bobby Rainey, we have some versatility there to play all three downs, and on special teams as well.”

With Will Johnson placed on Injured Reserve, the Giants currently have no fullbacks on the roster. “It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this,” McAdoo said. “(Johnson) came in and played some good ball for us. He’s a guy that we think highly of… We’ll do (fullback) by committee.”

Wide receivers Tavarres King and Roger Lewis both made the 53-man roster over wide receiver Geremy Davis.

“Roger and T.K. are two guys that really took a big jump,” McAdoo said. “They hit the ground running in the offseason, made tremendous strides and got better and improved. They pushed each other along with the rest of that group. There was great competition in that group. Geremy was a guy we drafted here that we think very highly of. Sometimes, you have to make those tough decisions.”

Offensive center/guard Brett Jones, the former Canadian Football League player who spend the entire 2015 season on Injured Reserve with a knee injury, also made the team.

“Brett has made some big jumps, some big gains,” McAdoo said. “It’s a shame what happened to him last season. He’s been able to rebound. He’s a great student of the game. He’s a guy that has improved tremendously and will add some versatility inside for us… We look forward to getting (recently re-signed) Will (Beatty) out there on the practice field and getting his legs underneath him. He’ll be working hard to get in football shape and playing multiple positions for us.”

Rookie undrafted defensive end Romeo Okwara also man the 53-man roster. “He really came on in camp,” McAdoo said. “He really didn’t do a lot in the offseason because he had a hamstring injury. But he bounced back. He takes his coaching well and he really plays with a great amount of energy and passion… I think we have a nice group of defensive ends. (Olivier Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Kerry Wynn, and Okwara) all have some value inside, and they can play inside and outside for us. They can play the run and play the pass. It’s a good group.”

Others to make the squad were safety Mykkele Thompson and cornerback Trevin Wade.  “Mykkele is a guy who showed up and made some plays for us on special teams,” McAdoo said. “Wade really played tremendously the other night and took advantage of his opportunity vs. a great quarterback and a great offense, and showed very well.

“The roster is a living, breathing organism. It never stops changing. There’s always movement in the roster. Things are always moving.”

RYAN MALLECK WAIVED OFF OF INJURED RESERVE…
The New York Giants have waived tight end Ryan Malleck off of Injured Reserve. The Giants waived/injured Malleck and then placed him on Injured Reserve with a burner earlier this week. The Giants signed Malleck as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft.

UNIFORM NUMBER CHANGES…
The following New York Giants players have changed their uniform jersey numbers:

  • CB Eli Apple: from #28 to #24
  • RB Paul Perkins: from #39 to #28
  • OT Will Beatty: from #64 to #65
  • DT Montori Hughes: from #79 to #99
Aug 152016
 
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Odell Beckham, Adam Henry, and Victor Cruz; New York Giants (July 30, 2016)

Odell Beckham, Adam Henry, and Victor Cruz – © USA TODAY Sports Images

AUGUST 15, 2016 NEW YORK GIANTS TRAINING CAMP REPORT…
The New York Giants held their thirteenth and final summer training camp practice on Monday at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Training camp is now officially over.

INJURY REPORT…
New York Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) remains on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List.

Fullback Nikita Whitlock (burner), wide receiver Victor Cruz (groin), wide receiver Geremy Davis (hamstring), tight end Will Johnson (burner), defensive end Kerry Wynn (groin), and cornerback Eli Apple (knee) did not practice.

“No (update on Cruz),” said Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Just the status quo… we’re building him up to get to a position where we can make an evaluation. He had the hiccup, hoping to get him some work on Wednesday… Victor and I had a nice conversation yesterday afternoon. We talked about some different things that may be able to help moving forward, and I’ll let him share that. I’m not going to share that; I’ll keep our conversation private.”

“We’re still not giving up on Cruz,” said General Manager Jerry Reese on WFAN. “Hopefully, he’ll make it back.”

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard (groin) was limited. “No, there was no setback,” said McAdoo of Shepard.

Tight end Larry Donnell (dehydration), right guard John Jerry (illness), and cornerback Matt Smalley (shoulder) left practice early.

PRACTICE NOTES…
Some snippets from various media sources:

  • The offense seemed out of sorts today and had a rough practice.
  • Giants dime defense showed a look with Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul switching sides with Johnathan Hankins and Romeo Okwara playing defensive tackle. Keenan Robinson was the lone linebacker. The outside corners were Janoris Jenkins and Donte Deayon with Leon Hall, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Darian Thompson, and Landon Collins (in the box) inside.
  • Safety Landon Collins broke up two passes, one intended for tight end Matt LaCosse and the other for wide receiver Myles White.
  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib hit wide receiver Anthony Dable for a big play against cornerback Trevin Wade. Dable also made a one-handed touchdown catch on a throw from quarterback Logan Thomas.
  • Quarterback Logan Thomas hit wide receiver Kadron Boone deep against cornerback Matt Smalley. Thomas then found wide receiver Darius Powe, who made a nice catch, against Smalley.
  • Taking probably too much time, quarterback Eli Manning eventually found tight end Matt LaCosse for a touchdown against safety Landon Collins.
  • Emmett Cleary came in with the first unit at right guard when John Jerry (illness) left the field. Bobby Hart later got some work in at right guard as well.
  • Quarterback Ryan Nassib connected with wide receiver K.J. Maye in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown against cornerback Donte Deayon.
  • Quarterback Logan Thomas threw a strike to tight end Jerell Adams for a touchdown against linebacker Brad Bars.
  • With no healthy fullback available, tight end Ryan Malleck received a goal line carry, but he was unable to score.
  • In the 2-minute drill, quarterback Eli Manning hit wide receiver Roger Lewis for a touchdown against cornerback Donte Deayon. Manning went 5-of-5 on this drive with Lewis having two catches.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Casillas stopped running back Shane Vereen on a two-point conversion running attempt.
  • Cornerback Michael Hunter intercepted quarterback Ryan Nassib to end another 2-minute drive on a pass intended for wide receiver K.J. Maye.

HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
The transcript of Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Monday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available at Giants.com.

ARTICLES…

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Training camp is officially over. The Giants will be off Tuesday and return to practice on Wednesday.

Dec 122015
 
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Stansly Maponga, Atlanta Falcons (September 3, 2015)

Stansly Maponga – © USA TODAY Sports Images

GIANTS SIGN STANSLY MAPONGA OFF OF FALCONS’ PRACTICE SQUAD…
The New York Giants have signed defensive end Stansly Maponga off of the Practice Squad of the Atlanta Falcons. Maponga fills the vacancy on the 53-man roster created when the team waived defensive end Damontre Moore on Friday.

Maponga was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Falcons and converted to linebacker. From 2013-14, he played in 24 regular-season games with no starts, accruing eight tackles, one sack, and two fumble recoveries. The Falcons waived Maponga before the start of the 2015 season. Maponga is a bit of a defensive end-linebacker ‘tweener as he lacks ideal size and can have problems with big linemen. He is a good athlete with fine speed and quickness as an end.

NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
LB Devon Kennard (hamstring/foot) has officially been ruled out of Monday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

LT Ereck Flowers (ankle), DE Robert Ayers (neck), and S Brandon Meriweather (knee) are “questionable” for the game. The Giants did not practice on Saturday but said Ayers would not have practiced for the second day in a row had they done so. Flowers and Meriweather would have been limited.

RT Marshall Newhouse (back) is “probable” for the game.

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